Over the past few years, fans have seen many wrestlers step inside the squared circle. Some have become true fan favorites, whether it’s a result of their in-ring work or how they connect with the crowd. Something about them gets the fans wanting more.
Women’s wrestling has been brought into the spotlight now more than ever. From the United States to Japan, pro wrestling has seen an increase in classic bouts featuring strong female athletes. Outside of WWE’s Women’s Revolution, Impact Wrestling, SHIMMER, Stardom, and SHINE are just a few examples of promotions that promote women’s wrestling.
Legends like Trish Stratus, Mae Young, Aja Kong, Alundra Blayze, Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, Mildred Burke, Chyna, Sara Amato, and others helped pave the way for this new generation. Who is your favorite female wrestler?
In honor of Women’s History Month, The Sporting News presents the top ten female pro wrestlers today.
10. Britt Baker
Starting off the list is the AEW Women’s World Champion, Britt Baker. Baker has only been wrestling for a few years, but during her brief time in the ring, she has become a major star, winning the hearts of AEW fans around the world.
Baker has proven why she is the champion each time she steps into the ring. Her wars with Thunder Rosa helped elevate her into star status, and she is known to put her body on the line to entertain. Legitimately working on the side as a dentist, the 30-year-old’s commitment to both her jobs has resulted in rave reviews.
What do the next three years look like for Baker?
One of the strongest athletes in pro wrestling, Jordynne Grace is a true force to be reckoned with. Grace is a former Impact Knockouts and Progress World Women’s Champion. She is an innovator and gives it her all in every match she competes in.
This year alone in Impact Wrestling, Grace has held the Digital Media Championship, competed in matches with men and women, and competed in the first women’s Ultimate X match. Along with Jonathan Gresham, her commitment to pro wrestling is admirable, as she is not afraid to do whatever it takes to put on a show to remember.
She is a true powerhouse who can innovate her moveset. Grace is getting the attention many have hoped she would receive following years of hard work.
Some fans may know Syuri Kondo as a former UFC star who went 6-3 in MMA. Others will know her as a kickboxer. For wrestling fans, the current World of Stardom Champion is someone many should fear once inside the ring with her.
Syuri has competed for Smash, Hustle, Wrestling New Classic, Reina, and Stardom. As an MMA star, she brings some legitimacy to the wrestling ring thanks to her unique skillset. It’s as authentic as it is powerful. The creator of the Syu Sekai finisher, Syuri is someone to watch out for. Even if are not too familiar with her work, some research will prove just how entertaining Syuri can be.
7. Sasha Banks
It wouldn’t be a list of women’s wrestlers without including one of the Four Horsewomen, would it? Sasha Banks has been one of the top wrestlers since her days in NXT. Her feud against Bayley put her on the map. Since joining the main roster, Banks has been a six-time women’s champion and a two-time tag team champion.
Banks’ innovative style has changed over time. Her skills remain consistent thanks to how pristine she looks inside the ring. Her feud with Bayley on the main roster along with her matches with Bianca Belair proved that she can be a true ace. Outside of wrestling, she has appeared on The Mandalorian and was the third most tweeted female athlete in 2021.
While injuries have affected her career, Banks has come back to prove time and time again that her ability is still in its own universe.
6. Thunder Rosa
The mortal enemy of Britt Baker is more than just that. Thunder Rosa is a multi-time champion who has become an inspiration for young kids everywhere.
The 35-year-old from “The Graveyards of Tijuana, Mexico” wrestles for AEW along with several independent promotions. Her presence gets fans and any wrestler excited due to her competitive nature. In matches against Baker, Mercedes Martinez, Deonna Purrazzo, and Jamie Hayter, among others, Rosa has looked like a true star.
Against Baker alone, Rosa has done it all, from cage matches to hardcore wars. The sky is the limit for the wrestler and MMA star.
5. Serena Deeb
Most fans know Serena Deeb for her run in The Straight Edge Society in WWE. Outside of that, however, Deeb has been a true force in women’s wrestling.
Following a semi-retirement in 2015, Deep made her return to WWE in the Mae Young Classic. Fans gave her a standing ovation, knowing she worked hard to get to this moment. A Performance Center coach after, Deeb was released by WWE in 2020. It ended up doing wonders for her, as she later signed with AEW. With one of her first feuds being with Thunder Rosa, Deeb beat her to win the NWA World Women’s Championship.
Known as “The Professor of Wrestling,” the 35-year-old has become one of the most technically sound wrestlers out there. Currently feuding with Hikaru Shida, Deeb’s run outside of AEW is also something to praise. A reinvigorated Deeb has helped change the landscape of pro wrestling, one submission at a time.
4. Charlotte Flair
The daughter of Ric Flair has all of the tools needed to become a legend in only a few short years. Everything she touches turns to gold. Looking to one-up her game every time she is in the ring, Flair just has that “it” factor.
Already a Grand Slam Champion, Flair has done it all inside a WWE ring. Not only has she won a plethora of titles, but she has also innovated her wrestling game. Adopting moves from Andrade El Idolo, plus some of her own, Flair is not just about chopping people down. She works best as a heel, and when she is motivated, you can expect a human highlight reel of moves.
“The Queen” is considered one of the best pro wrestlers in WWE today. With a drive to hustle, Flair has put in the work to prove her value in pro wrestling is like nothing anyone has ever seen.
3. Utami Hayashishita
While most wrestling fans in the United States may not know her body of work, Utami Hayashishita is considered one of the best wrestling talents in the world. At just 23, Utami has won multiple titles for Stardom.
Ranked second in the PWI Women’s 150, Utami went from being a prodigy to a legit star. She shows something new in every match. Several matches have even lasted almost an hour. While it is hard to consider anyone doing that now, she has multiple matches like that and has done it with ease. Utami is now destined to lead Stardom to a new era as the “ace” of the promotion, a role Io Shirai had for years. “The Red Queen” is a star that would be able to take over any promotion if she were to sign there.
The scary thing is, Utami Hayashishita is just getting started.
2. Deonna Purrazzo
Before joining WWE, Deonna Purrazzo was everywhere. She appeared in Impact Wrestling, Stardom, and was a member of the Ring of Honor women’s division early on. From 2018-20, Purrazzo was a part of NXT and WWE. When WWE let her go, she became an instant must-get for any promotion. Impact Wrestling has been reaping the benefits since signing her.
The 27-year-old from New Jersey is a two-time Impact Knockouts Champion, holding the belt for almost a year. Her feud with Mickie James, leading to a Texas Death Match between the two, elevated women’s wrestling, and her in-ring skills have been shining brightly ever since.
She is currently the AAA Reina de Reinas and the ROH Women’s World Champion, defending both titles almost weekly. One of the hardest-working women in the business, Purrazzo is on a run of a lifetime.
1. Bianca Belair
The reason why Bianca Belair takes the top spot is because of her rise in such a short span. She has gone from “great promise” to “must watch” just like that.
Since joining WWE around 2016, Belair has oozed star power. The 32-year-old made herself a fan-favorite in NXT, thanks in part to her tremendous work ethic. Joining WWE’s main roster during the pandemic era, Belair quickly used her skills to win people over. She won the Royal Rumble in 2021 after entering at No. 3 and competed in one of the greatest WrestleMania matches in company history against Sasha Banks. Beating Banks in the main event to become SmackDown Women’s Champion in front of fans was a true crowning achievement.
Belair has the skills of a veteran, but she still managed to surprise folks now and then. She has become a role model outside of the ring and will do anything it takes to one-up herself. It will be hard for anyone to stop Belair and what she brings to the table.